The fleet of machines called Kiva robots installed inside 10 of Amazon‘s warehouse in California, Texas, New Jersey, Washington and Florida enable Amazon to deliver millions of items to customers.
Originally made by a company Amazon bought in May 2012, Kiva Systems LLC, Kiva robots have since been integrated with Amazon’s warehouse technology. There are 15,000 Kiva robots spread across the 10 warehouses in the company’s network, which has more than 50 facilities in the US.
“The Amazon fulfillment teams are dedicated to innovating in our fulfillment centers to increase speed of delivery while enabling greater local selection at lower costs for our customers. The advancements in our latest fulfillment centers hit all three of these customer desires while continuing to provide a work environment that is great for employees,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations and customer service.
Some features of Amazon’s eighth generation fulfillment center include:
– Kiva robots of which Amazon currently has more than 15,000 operating across the U.S.;
– Robo-Stow, one of Earth’s largest robotic arms moving large quantities of inventory for customer order fulfillment;
– New vision systems enabling the unloading and receipt of an entire trailer of inventory in as little as 30 minutes instead of hours; and
– New, high-end graphically oriented computer systems for employees to use while fulfilling orders for customers.
So far, Amazon said it hasn’t eliminated any jobs with the introduction of Kiva. In fact, Amazon says it’s hired more people in that time. Amazon wouldn’t say how many jobs it’s added after incorporating Kiva, but overall it’s hired 61,110 employees since 2011, the year before it bought Kiva. That’s roughly doubling its employee base over the past two years, though the company saw a decline in that growth last year.
More info at cnet [Meet Amazon’s busiest employee — the Kiva robot] and BusinessWire [Amazon Unveils its Eighth Generation Fulfillment Center]